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Tuesday, March 31, 2015


One of the delights of living in Minneapolis is our wonderful selection of award winning pastries.  There’s never a shortage of opportunities to feed our sweet tooth, and one of my favorite places to do that is Cupcake.

After a couple of careers in the corporate world, Kevin VanDeraa decided to head off to culinary school, and thus began his pastry career.   After graduation, he accepted a job working under a world famous pastry chef in the pastry department of the Ritz Carlton in Chicago.  Encouraged by friends, Kevin eventually moved to Minneapolis and opened Cupcake in 2004.


As fortune would have it, he was approached, by the Food Network to audition for the second season of Cupcake Wars.  Several seasons, and many awards later, Kevin returned home to Minneapolis after winning the $50,000 grand prize, and immediately opened a new location in the Mall of America.  He has since added locations in St. Paul and Eagan to the lineup.

More merchandise.

The Mall of America location.

When it comes to gourmet cupcakes, it takes a lot to beat the offerings at Cupcake, which is why they are definitely my favorite.  As we head towards Easter and on into spring, I strongly encourage you to stop by Cupcake for a delicious treat.  Your sweet tooth will definitely thank you.

***Where is your favorite place to get cupcakes?

Sunday, March 29, 2015


And So The Week Begins!

Wearing my Palm Sunday red.

***Do you celebrate Palm Sunday?

Saturday, March 28, 2015


When it comes to folding your bike, there are only two acceptable ways to do it.  The right, pictured above . . . and the wrong way, pictured below.

***Do you own a folding bike?

Thursday, March 26, 2015


It's no secret that I love L.L. Bean, and have been a loyal customer for over 35 years, ever since I was first introduced to them in college.  I was thrilled when they opened a store here in the Twin Cities last fall, and have made several trip there, often introducing them to friends.

With that in mind, I was excited this morning to come across an article online from Town and Country Magazine entitled "10 Things You Didn't Know About L.L. Bean," although I must confess I knew most of them.  Here is the link to the article.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

***What new things did you learn about L.L. Bean from this article?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


This week our temperatures have returned to normal for March.  After a couple of weeks in the 50’s, 60’s, and even 70’s, we are once again experiencing our regular 30-40 degree weather.  These cooler temperature have brought a light coating of snow, and the need for warm socks again.  With that in mind, I’m anxious to try out these merino wool socks from Duluth Trading Co.

Duluth Trading Co. was founded back in 1989, and quick trip to their website gives us the fun story of how it all began.  The company was the idea of two brothers who were “wild and woolly, hippie tradesmen kinda guys, working in the construction business.”  After seeing construction workers carrying their tools around in drywall buckets, rather haphazardly, they were inspired to create the “Bucket Boss”, a durable canvas tool organizer that fits on a standard drywall bucket.  The idea was a success.

Eventually, the company branched out into work clothes, which were “field tested” by the workers who would actually be wearing them.  Only those items that made the grade would be included in their catalog.  I wasn’t aware of the company until they opened their store in Bloomington, MN, just south of Minneapolis.  It was there that I found these merino wool socks shortly after the holidays, and I can’t wait to see how they wear.

The company has changed hands over the years, and their headquarters has moved from Duluth, MN to Belleville, WI, but they are still a Midwest company, and still take pride in offering quality products.  If you have a chance, I encourage you to check them out.

***Are you familiar with Duluth Trading Co.'s products?

Monday, March 23, 2015


After a couple of weeks with temperatures in the 50's, 60's, and 70's, our first weekend of spring brought us snow.  Not a great deal, but enough to provide us with a nice covering of white.  It's just Mother Nature's way of reminding us that it IS still March in Minnesota.

The snow began in the early evening . . .

 . . . And continued into the night.

We woke up to a fresh coating of white.

I love this tree.

***Did you have snow on the first weekend of spring this year?

Sunday, March 22, 2015


What To Wear On The First Sunday Of Spring:    
               Light Blue Shirt:  Jos. A. Banks
               Sweater:  L.L. Bean
               Bow Tie:  Social Primer for Brooks Brothers
               Khaki Pants:  Tommy Hilfiger
               Shoes:  Yellow Calvin Klein Felix
               Socks:  Vannucci
               Phone Case:  J. Crew
               Watch:  Timex
               Watch Strap:  Timex


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Rolling Into Spring!

***What are your plans on this first weekend of Spring?

Friday, March 20, 2015


Today is the Vernal Equinox, or the first day of spring.  Known in the Celtic calendar as Ostara, it is one of two days where daylight and darkness are equal in length.  From this point forward daylight becomes a bit longer each day, allowing us to enjoy all the wonderful and fun outdoor activities.

Soon the flowers will begin to bloom, letting us know that winter is indeed behind us, as the warm sun transforms trees and fields to lovely shades of green.  I love the cycle of the four seasons and the new life that it brings.  It seems to mirror the rhythm of my soul as it journeys through the year.

***What are you doing on this wonderful first day of spring?

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Today is St. Joseph’s Day.  Falling just two days after St. Patrick’s Day, this Feast Day is especially celebrated in Italy.  While I have no Italian heritage, growing up this was always a special day for me because, since my name is Joseph, this was my “Saint’s Day.”

Traditionally, a couple things happen on this day.  In many European countries, families and churches will build St. Joseph Altars.  These three tiered structures will be filled with food – predominantly breads – which will later be eaten by the family and/or given to the poor.  There are many St. Joseph Day bread recipes out there, and you may remember that I made one last year to celebrate the day.

Along with that, it is also traditional to eating hot cross buns on this day.  I think this is done for two reasons.  First, hot cross buns are a Lenten food, and you will see them popping up in bakeries beginning with Ash Wednesday on through Easter.  Secondly, because St. Joseph’s Day is all about breads, hot cross buns fit in perfect.  So to honor both thoughts, I stopped off at my local bakery on my way to work today, to pick some up.  They will be a great treat for the staff.

Light Blue Shirt From Jos. A Banks; Red Buffalo Check Bow Tie From J. Crew;
Red Cashmere Sweater Vest From Macy's.

The second tradition for St. Joseph’s Day is to wear red clothing.  Truthfully I don’t know how this tradition came about, and haven’t been able to find out yet, so if anyone can offer input into that I would appreciate it.  Regardless, I always wear red clothing on this day.  So this year on St. Joseph’s Day, Joseph will be eating hot cross buns, while rocking the red clothing.  It doesn’t get any better!

***Do you celebrate St. Joseph’s Day?